By Scott Hamilton
April 6, 2021, © Leeham News: As if Boeing didn’t have enough challenges these days, its near-exclusive dominance for new-build freighter may be threatened.
Airbus is showing airlines and lessors a freight version of the A350 that is midway in length between the -900 and -1000 passenger versions. If enough orders are lined up—50 is said to be the magic number—Airbus could launch the program as early as this year.
But the Airbus threat isn’t the only one to Boeing’s decades’ long leadership in new-build freighters.
International regulations that take effect in 2027 mean the 777-200LRF and 767-300ERF that Boeing builds today can no longer be produced from 2027. The two aircraft won’t meet new, strict noise and emissions regulations. The engine designs and technology on the 777F date to the 1990s. Those on the 767s date to the 1980s.
The 777-8F was to be Boeing’s next generation freighter. However, program delays, financial pressures, and certification challenges cast doubts whether the -8F will be launched.
By Vincent Valery
April 5, 2021, © Leeham News: Most airlines and lessors that publish their financial results publicly have done so for 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic harmed all stakeholders’ financials in the commercial aviation industry. However, the impact varies significantly from one group to another. There are also significant differences between companies within a group.
LNA collected financial information on airlines and lessors to assess the pandemic’s economic damage. The differences in financial impact have altered the balance of power within the commercial aviation ecosystem. The varying fortunes will impact each stakeholder’s say in current and future aircraft programs.
April 5, 2021, © Leeham News: Southwest Airlines didn’t ask Airbus to submit a commercial bid for the A220-300, three knowledgeable sources tell Leeham News.
Southwest conducted an internal technical analysis of the A220-300 vs. the 737-7 MAX. The A220-300 offered better economics. But this competed against the costs of retaining a common 737 fleet.
“Southwest acknowledged the merits of the A220, but there was no competition” for a commercially-based bid, LNA is told.
The airline placed an order on March 29 for 100 737-7s. Southwest said the order was an outgrowth of talks with Boeing for compensation due to the 20-month grounding of the MAX.
April 2, 2021, ©. Leeham News: It’s time to wrap up our series on the hydrogen airliner alternative for Sustainable Commercial Aviation.
We review the status for sustainable aviation as of today, then look at the future next week.
By Bjorn Fehrm and Vincent Valery
By the Leeham News Team
The order was expected. The carrier also considered the Airbus A220-300. But any prospect of diverging from the 50-year relationship with Boeing was at best a crapshoot.
Despite the flowering language in the press release, the key reasons are buried.
March 29, 2021, © Leeham News: Aviation stakeholders’ attention understandably focuses on Airbus and Boeing as the industry works its way through the COVID-19 pandemic. Embraer gets less attention than the Big Two.
But two other OEMs must be considered as well: ATR and De Havilland Canada.
Outside of China and Russia, whose home-grown industries sell only to these markets, ATR and DHC are the only manufacturers of turboprops in the 50-90 seat sectors.
LNA revealed on Jan. 12 that DHC would suspend Dash 8-400 production after the small backlog rolled off the assembly line. The privately held company delivered 11 airplanes last year due to the pandemic.
About 900 aging regional turboprop aircraft need to be replaced in the coming years.
By Scott Hamilton
Some might argue Airbus has the advantage over Boeing, which is beset by a huge inventory of 737 MAXes and a growing number of undelivered 787s.
Others might argue that Boeing, desperate for cash, faced with billions of dollars of customer compensation claims and MAX whitetails, is willing to cut prices below levels Airbus will match.
There is anecdotal evidence Boeing is slashing MAX prices. Two high-profile campaigns in the US are illustrative. Last week, LNA examined bake-offs between Airbus and Boeing for Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines. United Airlines appeared to place an opportunistic order for 25 MAX 9 whitetails.
This week, LNA takes a deep dive into the competitive situation between Airbus and Boeing in the US.
March 26, 2021, ©. Leeham News: This week, we look at combining the propulsion and hydrogen tank in an integrated nacelle as Airbus proposes in Figure 1.
Airbus calls it its “pod” solution. What are the advantages, and what challenges does it present?
By Bjorn Fehrm
March 25, 2021, © Leeham News: When Qantas announced the Airbus A350-1000 as the winner for project Sunrise over Boeing’s 777-8 December 2019, we did articles about the choice. We found that the A350-1000 could fly the toughest route, Sydney to London but with modifications.
Airbus has since told the press they can now do it with an improved standard A350-1000. We revisit the case to see how “standard” such an A350-1000 is.